Beckon

Few people dared to venture too far from the worn footpaths winding their way around the slopes of Mount Pyre. Some claimed that doing so would result in a person getting hopelessly lost for the remainder of their lives. And some others claimed that only the paths were safe for walks about the mountain cemetery; their faith lay in the numerous stone pillars that could be found at regular intervals along the paths, covered in charmed ribbons and blessed paper strips. But sometimes, children who followed their families up onto the mountain would wander, and things would liven up considerably after their absence was discovered. Normally, those rare occasions were about as close as Mount Pyre came to being noisy - silence usually reigned supreme on the rocky slopes.

But the root of all the aforementioned superstitions can be deduced to be nothing other than the fear of ghosts. Be they the spirits of deceased creatures or even actual Ghost-type Pokemon, the lingering specters of Mount Pyre commanded a mixture of fear and respect from all who stepped foot within their territory. Save for the docile Chimechoes that made their nests close to the Orb Shrine, all of the Pokemon found on the silent mountain were Ghost types.

Shuppet. Duskull. Two basic Pokemon that could easily creep a person out, but nothing more. Some of the people who visited the mountain even fed them with scraps of rotting meat, and the Pokemon were only too happy to indulge in the generous offerings.

Banette. Dusclops. Banette was rarely seen, and so was less feared as compared to Dusclops. Even if Banette had been a more commonly encountered Pokemon at Mount Pyre, Dusclops would still be much scarier.

Much, MUCH scarier.

xxx

A little girl stood wide-eyed on a weather-beaten dirt path, not daring to take even a single step off 'safe' ground. Up ahead of her lay about a hundred feet of rocky ground with some sparse vegetation, and her top had somehow found its way right into the middle of the restricted area. Beyond the cliff's edge, she could see Hoenn's southern coast, with the ocean stretching out to the horizon where the sun was setting. It was twilight already, and up on Mount Pyre, darkness came much faster after twilight than it did for the surrounding areas. Already it was darker than Slateport at seven in the evening, and the little child knew that within half an hour, night would have engulfed the slopes in blackness.

"Do not wander outside after twilight, child. It is not safe."

"Why, grandma?"

"There are creatures hiding in the darkness. Creatures that make you get lost, or get trapped in nightmares. Best be safe and not wander about after dark."

So her top sat comfortably in a low depression on the ground, as if taunting her. Her grandfather was leading the prayers at the Orb Shrine, and her grandmother was busy preparing dinner. She was torn between disobeying her grandmother's orders and rescuing her top - after all, her last top had vanished after she left it out for the night. Just as she was about to give up on retrieving her toy, she saw movement out of the corner of her eye.

Turning about slowly to see what had happened - as her grandmother had taught her to - she saw that a faint glow was visible just at the edge of the path, barely eight feet from where she stood. The glow seemed to be coming from the stone pillar planted in the ground, and for some reason, she felt a strange urge to go closer to it.

One step. Two steps. Three steps. The distance between her and the glow grew smaller as she cautiously walked up to it.

Suddenly, the glow began to spread, eventually forming a faint sheet of light that moved off the path. All that connected it to the stone pillar was a single strand of light, which was becoming thinner as the seconds passed. As the glowing light detached itself from the pillar, it started to fold in on itself, forming a pulsating sphere of light. As a ball, the light's glow was warmer and took on a reddish hue, almost resembling the flame on a Charizard's tail save for the fact that it was round.

Awed by the display, she stepped closer to it, even as the glowing ball began to move further away from the mountain path.

The glowing mass hovered several feet off the ground, and soon enough, it had floated over to the spot which her top occupied. Hesitantly, the girl stepped off the path, and walked towards the light. Despite the fact that the light-sphere was gradually dimming, the girl saw that the area was becoming steadily brighter. At the far side of the light's reach, she saw a humanoid shape becoming steadily more visible.

As it slowly came closer, she saw that it was her grandfather.

"Grandpa!" she exclaimed with some surprise, "How did you get over there?"

"I can go anywhere on this mountain with ease, child," her grandfather said, even as he took another step towards her, "Why don't you come and get the top?

With that, he moved right up to the brightest region around the mysterious light, and she saw something that made her step back with a fearful whimper. It was now obvious that the... thing not twenty feet away from her was not her kindly old grandfather. Its eyes had a reddish tinge to them, and its hands were held up in front of it, palms facing away from itself.

The human-like creature waved its hands slowly, gesturing for her to come closer as its red eyes glowed slightly.

She tried to turn around and make a dash for the mountain path, but she felt an alien sense of compulsion forming in her mind.

'Come CLOSER, child... It is SAFE... COME closer...'

Tears ran down her cheeks as she tried to resist the terrifying commands.

'CLOSER, my child... MY child...'

She was now standing in darkness, the glowing ball having extinguished its light. Behind her, soft footfalls could be heard approaching over the hard ground. Her tears flowed freely now, as she began crying in earnest.

'Turn around, little girl... FACE me...'

Her body moved of its own accord, turning around to face the monster in the darkness up ahead. All she saw was a glowing red circle, but it was enough to break the creature's grip on her mind, however temporarily.

'That's a GOOD girl...'

She screamed.

xxx

"- hear our prayers, great guardian Rayquaza," chanted several robe-clad people at the Orb Shrine, as the old priest rang a small bronze bell to awaken the Chimecho shrine guardians, "Protect our-"

A shrill scream interrupted their chanting, even as several Chimecho floated up into the shrine from their nests in the stunted trees around the squat structure.

"It's the demons!" gasped one woman, clutching at her husband's arm fearfully.

Murmurs broke out among the people, as to who the screamer might have been - human, Pokemon, or spirit.

However, the old priest knew better.

"Chimecho!" he cried, ringing the bell in his hands, "The spirits are attacking a human again! Please, take me there!"

One of the larger Chimecho present there floated towards him, and both of them vanished with a flash of light.

xxx

She was no longer crying now.

Her feet moved by themselves, slowly bringing her closer to the red circle that glowed in front of her. Her face was blank, marked only by the trails left by tears whose flow had been stopped suddenly.

'You are a very GOOD girl... Come closer to ME... CLOSER...'

Two hands waved slowly beneath the glowing red circle, drawing her closer to the creature. A small flash of light behind her heralded the arrival of two newcomers to the scene, and the dark creature's persuasive voice was stopped.

"CLOPS!" thundered the creature, furious at the interruption.

"Chimecho, FLASH!" shouted the old priest, even as his granddaughter snapped out of her daze.

The floating Pokemon obeyed instantly, illuminating the entire area with an explosive flash of light. For the first time, the little girl saw just what she had been walking towards, and she screamed once again.

It was a two-legged being with a single red eye, moving both of its stubby arms in a slow circle. Wispy ribbons of fog emerged from its shoulders and the top of its head, trailing off into nothingness behind it. Between its hands and single eye was a wide mouth with three plate-like teeth.

"DUS!" boomed the creature, as its eye began to glow once again. When it spoke, the girl saw that its mouth opened up into a vast emptiness, almost like the sky on a starless night.

"Chimecho, psywave!" countered the priest, as he ran forward and picked his grandchild up, "Beat that ghost back!"

Even as the Chimecho was slammed into the ground by the ghost's attack, it sent a powerful psywave towards the ghastly thing. As the psychic-type attack hit its mark, the ghost vanished into a small cloud of darkness.

"Grandfather!" cried the girl, as she buried her face in the priest's robes, "I was so scared..."

"Phoebe, how many times have I told you to stay indoors after dark?" the old man asked, not unkindly, "That Dusclops could have killed you just now..."

"What do you mean?"

"That-" her grandfather told her as he placed her back on her own feet, "- was a Dusclops. Sometimes a Duskull evolves, and we find one wandering about the slopes searching for food."

Phoebe's blood ran cold as she realized that she had almost been a meal for the Dusclops which she had encountered.

"But it's alright... The Chimecho will not allow them to come too close to our home... Let us go back and finish the prayers, and I think we should give thanks that you were not harmed."

As they walked back towards the path, led by the Chimecho, Phoebe turned to her grandfather.

"Grandfather?"

"Umm?"

"You once told me that Duskull was the re... req..."

"Requiem Pokemon, dear."

"Oh, yes! You told me that they got that name for always appearing during funerals... But what is a Dusclops?"

When no reply was heard, she tugged on his sleeve.

"Grandfather?"

As the shrine's lights became visible in the distance, her grandfather turned to face her, a strange expression on his face, "Dusclops is the Beckon Pokemon, Phoebe."

For the rest of the walk, Phoebe was silent.

END


Pokemon Ruby Pokedex Entry - Duslop's body is completely hollow - there is nothing inside. It is said that its body is like a black hole. This Pokemon will absorb anything into its body, but nothing will ever come back out.

Pokemon Sapphire Pokedex Entry - Dusclops absorbs anything, however large the object may be. This Pokémon hypnotizes its foe by waving its hands in a macabre manner and by bringing its single eye to bear. The hypnotized foe is made to do Dusclops's bidding.